Saturday, November 27, 2010


In a month's time, I'll be home again. And yes, I already started my countdown, the very moment my vacation leave was signed and approved.


Being an expat or OFW is never easy, contrary to what others believed in. Working abroad doesn't mean earning money is a walk in the park. Sure, the salary is relatively higher compare to what can be earned locally but there are other factors to be considered. And no, I am not complaining why I work here in Japan, just stating that it's not raining yens here.

One has to battle homesickness, culture differences and if you're unlucky racism. I am not adding the work-related pressures here as it is a part of my contract. It was invisibly written though. I enjoy my work by the way, and I do appreciate that my contract was renewed last July.

However, being surrounded by fellow expats, an antidote for homesickness, it make my overseas life more bearable. We do share the same sentiments and we all understand each other situation. It may be a bit of cliche, or really a cliche, but we are each other's second family. And I am very thankful for that.

I can't wait to set foot to the City of Smiles where I spent most of my life. Can't wait to plant a kiss to my parents who were very supportive of my career and decision. Can't wait to bond again with my brother and relatives, as well as my friends.

Saying thank you to all of them is never enough. Perhaps a little cash would do. Just kidding of course, it's bribery. Sort of.



  1. Having been temporary and now permanent expat, I understand how you are feeling. For two years in Seychelles, the expat family was very important to us, even though we made lifelong friendships with Seychellois. After 20 years in France, the situation isn't quite the same - UK and family are within half a day's travel, and we probably have more French friends than expats. I enjoyed your expression of gratitude, and I'm sure you'll enjoy a wonderful homecoming.

  2. Thanks Viv. Yeah, hopefully i'll have a blast. Thanks for sharing your story too, about being an expat.

  3. I like the simplistic but real nature of this write...It highlights gratitude so mildly but profoundly...well done!


  4. Thanks Emman, all small things deserve a thanks!

  5. sometimes we appreciate those around us more when they not around us. I am so sorry you're still homesick but I am sure they miss you as much as you miss them. I hope things have improved at your apartment as well.

  6. Hi Amanda, lol, my neighbor is doin fine i guess and i hope he/she wont bother me anymore. not always homesick, just some times.

  7. I too was a expat once, though I cannot say I ever had the feeling of being homesick, I was actually homesick when I came home to visit and wanted to return to my life abroad. This was a lovely piece and I hope you enjoy your vacation, friends and family to the fullest.

  8. How wonderful to have two families! It says a lot about you that you can negotiate in the world in such a graceful way that, no matter where you go, you are not a "foreigner" for long--the landscape and its people embrace you and welcome you home when and if you decide to return. Blessings to you :)

  9. totomai,
    Reminds me a bit of living in Mexico.
    Enjoyable read.

  10. What is happening to you is a great lesson in life. You will appreciate your family and country more and also have great respect and love of the people and countries you work in. This will be a immense help in your life from now on, not only in work but in your personal relationships. You don't need an antidote for your current feelings as you will find your experience has given you a booster shot in life.

  11. hi totomai! i remember the years i was in japan. i always felt like this post. the countdown? it's soooo true. i'm glad you're going home for the holidays. :)

  12. The cash would be a good antidote. I'm a British Australian, still sentimental about my homeland but loving where I live.

  13. I think whether we leave a country or leave an area, the homesickness strikes when we least expect it to, to look back is normal, for in the past we see glimpses of the future.

  14. Sad this homesickness bit but happiness cannot be bought :) you have to develop it yourself.

    It is just a state of the mind whether you are happy or not :)

    Hope the antidote works for you since you have identified it :)

  15. nicely done....reminds me of places i have lived.....thanks for sharing your words

  16. @Lisa, I will surely enjoy my vacation. Actually I usually get homesick when I am about to iron my clothes, lol

    @Wendy, that is one of the amazing things being a foreigner, you have new families.

    @Pamela, thanks. perhaps you experience this way too.

    @Oldegg, surely this is a learning experience.

    @Kikit, i think i deserve this vacation. by the way, you’re not in Japan anymore?

    @Rinkly, I guess that’s the right way to do. Enjoy where you are.

    @Reflections, so true. least expected moments.

    @Nanka, i think so. Thanks

    @Wayne, my pleasure

  17. love your blog design,
    amazing poetry.


any thoughts to distill?

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